STORE SPACES

Amazon to pop-up—at Whole Foods Market

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is leveraging its newest acquisition to drive sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The online giant will set up Amazon Pop-Up stores in a handful of Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. The dedicated spaces will enable Whole Foods customers to try out Amazon devices and learn about Prime and its other services.

The pop-ups are in addition to the 100 Whole Foods locations that now carry Amazon devices, such as the new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets, among other gadgets, Whole Foods reported.

The first locations will open on Nov. 13, in Chicago, Illinois; and Rochester Hills, Michigan. Pop-ups will subsequently open in Davie, Florida; Pasadena, California; and in the new Union Station store in Denver. All locations will be staffed by Amazon employees.

This is not the first time that the online giant is leveraging its Whole Foods division as an additional Amazon sales channel. On its first day as the official owner of the natural foods grocer, a transaction worth $13.7 billion, Amazon positioned its Echo voice-assisted speaker as one of Whole Foods’ featured “Pick of The Season” discounted products. The deal slashed prices down to $99.99 for a full-size speaker, and $44.99 for the Echo Dot.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods lowered prices on a selection of its best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with the price cuts reportedly broader than the retailer previously announced. It is also adding Amazon Lockers to store locations.

Looking ahead, Amazon plans to further integrate the two brands. One developing plan is the integration of Prime within the Whole Foods network. Specifically, both companies are exploring how to “make Prime the Whole Foods customer rewards program,” Brian Olsavsky, senior VP, CFO said on Amazon’s third quarter investors’ call on Oct. 26. “We’ll have that coming out in the future.”

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STORE SPACES

Sears opens specialty stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holdings is closing its traditional outlets, but, in a lesser watched move, the retailer is also opening smaller-format specialty stores. Sears Holdings is closing its traditional outlets, but, in a lesser watched move, the retailer is also opening smaller-format specialty stores.

The retailer on Thursday announced the opening of two more Sears Appliances & Mattresses stores, a 12,248-sq.-ft. location in Camp Hill, Pa., and a 16,200-sq.-ft. one at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Sears’ Appliances & Mattresses format made its debut in June, in Pharr, Texas. In 2016, the retailer opened a Sears Appliances store, in Ft. Collins, Colo.

The new stores showcases the top major appliance brands in a bright, spacious setting with interactive displays. Home appliances are displayed in kitchen vignettes. Shoppers can also visualize how new appliances would look in a full-scale kitchen courtesy of a 100-inch interactive digital display. Using a tablet, they can select common kitchen layouts and appliances and further customize the experience by choosing colors and finishes. They also can use the digital display to shop for other products on sears.com. Shoppers can also try out mattresses from top brands.

The new locations will also feature a number of integrated services, including:

• Meet with An Expert: Shoppers can schedule appointments with in-store experts for assistance in purchasing appliances and mattresses.

• Buy Online and Ship to the Store, In-Vehicle Pickup: Members can purchase all products available on Sears.com or Kmart.com, ship to the store for free, then pick up their items at the store when they arrive, where they will be ready in five minutes, guaranteed.  The can also choose to have their item brought out to them by using Sears’ In-Vehicle Pickup service.

• Anyone, Anywhere Pickup: Members can order any item on Sears.com or Kmart.com and send a friend or family member to pick up the purchase — particularly useful for parents purchasing items for their kids who may be away at college.

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STORE SPACES

Cereal giant to open big new eatery

BY Marianne Wilson

Tony the Tiger is coming back to Manhattan.

Kellogg’s NYC Café will open the doors of an immersive cereal café and experience on Dec. 7 in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan. The new location follows the successful run of the company’s first restaurant, in Times Square, which it closed in August, saying at the time it was seeking a larger destination.

At just over 5,000 sq. ft., the Union Square is five-times the size of Kellogg’s first location. The company promises it will be more than just a place to eat.

“It’ll be a destination for foodies and people to chill, create and explore the endless possibilities of cereal all in one place, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or a snack later in the day,” Kellogg stated.

The location will feature an open-concept kitchen where patrons can watch as cereal creations are made. They will also be able to select items off the menu or create their unique combos with a DIY cereal creation station featuring ingredients fresh from the Union Square’s farmer’s market.

The cafe was designed with social media enthusiasts at heart. It will engage selfie and Instagram lovers with areas where cereal and Kellogg’s characters come to life.

“We’re excited people can experience cereal in new ways all the time at our permanent location, versus other pop-ups which we’ve seen can quickly come and go. Whether people stop in for a quick meal or end up spending the afternoon or early evening with us, Kellogg’s NYC Café in Union Square will truly be a home for food exploration — tailored to give everyone endless flavor possibilities when it comes to cereal,” said Aleta Chase, Kellogg’s marketing director.

Kellogg’s new cafe was conceptualized by Anthony Rudolf and Sandra Di Capua of Co.create NYC.

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